Do you know this feeling when you want to go for something but somewhere along your way it gets difficult, complex, boring and you decide to go the ‚easy’ way instead of the way your heart tells you? Well, we knew this quite well.
So, how did we manage to change our way of living completely? In June 2017, Dominik, our daughter Bibi, and I moved into our motorhome „Hearty“. We gave away our flat, let go of our secure business, donated our furniture and most of our inventory and started our journey.
Even tough it seems to get a more and more popular idea our (European) world is not (yet) made for people who live in their motorhomes and travel. Insurance, bank account, taxes, company, license plate – for lots of things you need a valid address.
And there were a number of other challenges we faced: Getting an extended visa for traveling the US, shipping our Hearty to North America, letting go of our belongings, quitting our working contracts and projects, deciding how to move on with our company. The weeks and months before we left were quite intense. However, we managed to stay joyfully on track and keep on going for our dream in ease.
Want to know how we did it? These 10 ingredients helped us bringing our dream alive in joy and ease:
1. Exploring our preferred future
We talked a lot about the journey we would love to have, how we might notice that we are on the journey we truly wish to have, about the differences this journey might make for us, what we would love to share about our story once we are old, what differences we would like to make.
2. Working on what works
We also spent a lot of time sharing what we already did that brought us closer to our dream. We love to make lists, like: „Let us collect 50 things we did this week that worked well and got us closer to our preferred future. This allowed us to realize even better what works in our lives and to do more of this in the future. Moreover, it helped us to see that we actually did a lot of things every week, even if it just was thinking about something, doing research, reading an inspiring book, de-clutter one thing we won’t need anymore,…
3. Celebrating our small steps
Talking about what worked also allowed us to celebrate what we have already achieved. We had some rituals for celebrating our small steps. One of our favorite ways to celebrate our small steps was taking a coffee break dedicated to talking about our successes and sharing what we noticed that the other person recently did to bring our journey alive. We also enjoyed celebrating every small step (even the smallest one) with a high-five, taking five minutes in the evening to thank each other for what we did today, hugging each other, or sending each other short text messages with what we got done and cheering each other by answering joyfully with a thumb up-, heart-, celebration-emoji or some joyful words.
4. Identifying signs of progress
A very energizing way of getting things to move forward was to identify signs of progress. Again we used our car drives, coffee breakes, or text messages to collect signs of progress by asking each other “How might we notice in the course of this day/this week that we are on our way to our preferred future.” Usually we collected at least 15 details per person and usually those days were the very productive ones 😉
5. Doing one small step after another
We did not make plans or to-do-lists. We followed the idea (we eventually could call it our joy-mantra) to go with where the most joy and energy is. Knowing our preferred future, regularly exploring what works towards it as well as identifying signs of progress from time to time helped a lot to focus our energy and to go with the flow, energy and joy.
6. Taking decisions even if not everything is clear yet
We can never know everything in advance. The more we researched e.g., the more we found out that there are millions of things that we don’t know. We didn’t let this stop us. Instead we took decisions that energized us, like buying an RV without knowing exactly where we will drive to, and built on that. With every decision our journey has emerged more and more.
7. Enjoying the way instead of wanting to be on a particular place
Sometimes we start projects and only think about finishing them. By approaching projects like that we often miss a lot of opportunities along the way. Celebrating our small steps, working on what works, identifying signs of progress as well as rethinking our preferred future from time to time helped a lot to stay on track and to fully enjoy the way. It was very helpful that enjoying the steps along our way was an important part of our preferred future.
8. Fixing dates and setting deadlines
As we were working towards our preferred future we realized that there were a lot of things we truly loved to do. Inquiries for leadership trainings, organizational development programs, invitations to interesting conferences; it was very tempting to say “Yes” to all these offerings. Fixing the date for the shipment of our Hearty helped us to stay clear on what we want to do and to focus on our journey. Setting deadlines was also important when it came to the artwork around our Hearty. There was this moment when we realized that we’re usually most productive when we set an attractive deadline. So we knew that we want to have our artwork done by summer when we join the EBTA summer camp with a bunch of brilliant SF people. With them we wanted to celebrate J
9. Fully living in our flat and village until we move
We loved the small village, our neighborhood, the wonderful people, and our lovely flat we had chosen to live in. Yet we knew we wanted to follow our dream and commit us to our journey. A very important decision was to handle the place we live as if we stayed there. This allowed us to fully enjoy our flat to the very last few days, to feel at home and to embrace all the precious gifts this place offered us. It also made a number of decisions easier. For instance when we talked about buying a bed for Bibiana. It was easy to decide to buy one, even if we knew it was only for 4 months. These 4 months however, we could enjoy some extra time just for the two of us 😉
10. Talking about our journey with family, friends, colleagues, business partners from an early stage on
From an early stage on we shared our preferred future with people around us. Sharing our story and ideas helped a lot to further shape our preferred future. We loved to listen to each other when we talked to other people. It was so exciting to hear the other person talk about what we already researched, where there is the most joy, energy and excitement at the moment, and also to listen to our families’, friends’, colleagues’, business partners’ responses and questions. After such conversations we also loved to reflect together what we learned from the conversations about our journey, about our excitement, and about possible next steps.
From the heart,